Reading inspiring, positive news stories has already been scientifically proven to uplift your mood.
Although today, a plethora of negative news items still pervade a lot of media outlets from television, newspapers, to blogs and YouTube videos.
It’s always been thought by news editors that negative news sells more. Research carried out by Marc Trussler and Stuart Soroka at the McGill University has shown that readers actually choose to read depressing stories by default. It’s common for news outlets to take advantage of this which seems to spread fear or cause readers to adopt a more pessimistic perspective on life.
However, there has been a shift in values in recent years where more outlets have intentionally included optimistic, feel good articles that clearly aim to make readers a little more happy in their lives.
The adverse effects on our mental health have prompted a change and it seems high time to correct the balance of positive and negative content.
Though, just what sort of positive stories do we tend to gravitate toward? Aren’t positive stories just another form of escapism? Or are they truly benefiting us psychologically and help up to resolve our issues in the long-term?
Stories of big lottery wins, heroic deeds and acts of human kindness are all stories we can relate to in our own lives and can easily induce a happier state of being. But they always have to do with us imagining an external person, place or situation where we temporarily escape from the reality of our personal and societal problems.
By stimulating our imagination more, this could be a form of escapism. But one thing is for sure, stories that put a smile to our face do contribute to our well being and positively broadens our perspective on life.
Prolonged feelings of happiness have been shown to reduce blood pressure and increase dopamine levels (the happy hormone) . And even just smiling causes the brain to start releasing neuropeptides which counteract the effects of stress, according to a study from Seaward BL, “Managing Stress: Principles and Strategies for Health and Well-Being”.
There are certainly measurable results to exposing ourselves to more uplifting news items, as opposed to absorbing the negative vibes from depressing news articles.